Committee on the Rights of the Child Closes Ninety-Third Session after Adopting Concluding Observations on Reports of Finland, France, Jordan, Sao Tome and Principe, Türkiye and the United Kingdom
The Committee on the Rights of the Child this afternoon concluded its ninety-third session after adopting concluding observations on the reports of Finland, France, Jordan, Sao Tome and Principe, Türkiye and the United Kingdom. The concluding observations will be available on the session’s webpage on Friday, 2 June.
Ann Marie Skelton, Committee Chairperson, said that, as of 26 May, there were 196 States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 173 States parties to the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 178 States parties to the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and 50 States parties to the Optional Protocol on the communications procedure.
The Committee had welcomed three new members this session, Thuwayba Al Barwani (Oman), Mary Beloff (Argentina) and Rosaria Correa (Panama), who all actively contributed to the Committee’s work from their first day.
On individual communications, Ms. Skelton said the Committee had adopted decisions on 10 cases. It had found violations of the Convention in three cases: a case against Peru concerning access to abortion services by a 13-year-old victim of rape and incest and the criminalisation of abortion; a case against the Czech Republic concerning the institutionalisation of children to ensure their right to health and education; and a case against Denmark concerning the deportation of a girl to Somalia with a risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation. The Committee also considered a case against Luxembourg, finding no violation of the Convention, and declared two cases inadmissible against Chile and Spain, respectively. The Committee discontinued two cases against Switzerland, one against Ireland and one against Denmark. There were positive outcomes in the three cases where violations were found and positive reasons for the discontinuances, showing the impact of the Optional Protocol on the communications procedure in finding an effective remedy for violations. The Committee also discussed inquiries under article 13 of the Optional Protocol.
Ms. Skelton said she was pleased to announce the adoption of the Committee’s general comment 26 on children’s right to a healthy environment, with a special focus on climate change. The Committee had heeded the call of children and young people around the world to prioritise this issue as one of the most crucial concerns facing the world today. There had been unprecedented interest in the general comment. Over 16,000 children were consulted in the drafting process, including very young children.
The general comment elaborated the rights in the Convention that were already breached or under threat due to climate change. It confirmed that children had a right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. It clarified the obligations of States and the role of the business sector. It also made child-specific recommendations for mitigation, adaption, loss and damage and climate finance. Ms. Skelton thanked the Committee for their efforts in finalising this general comment. The final text of the general comment would be published in July, and the Committee would hold an official launch of the general comment during its next session on 18 September. Many other launches were being planned around the world. Ms. Skelton cited children who were involved in the consultation process, who advised that “global warming and other problems could not be solved unless there was global cooperation.”
Rinchen Chophel, Committee Vice-Chair and Rapporteur, presented a report on the activities of the Committee’s working groups and the individual members of the Committee during the session and in the inter-sessional period.
The Committee then adopted the report of its ninety-third session.
In closing, Ms. Skelton said that the ninety-third session had been very busy and productive. She expressed thanks to new Bureau members Bragi Gudbrandsson, Rinchen Chophel, Sopio Kiladze and Luis Ernesto Pedernera Reyna, Committee members, members of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretariat for their contributions to the session.
The Committee will hold its ninety-fourth session from 4 to 22 September 2023, when it is scheduled to review the reports of Albania, Andorra, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein and Togo.
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